While diamonds are a popular choice for an engagement ring’s center stone, they aren’t the only option. More and more, we’re hearing our clients ask, “Can I use something other than a diamond?”
Sometimes the question is “Can we use our birthstones in our wedding set?” Or perhaps “I’ve just always loved the rich blue of sapphires — can I use that instead?”
The answer to all of these questions is YES!
From celebrities and royalty to everyday couples, we’ve seen that brides don’t always choose white diamonds as their center stone. Once a custom design is on the table, our clients find a million ways to personalize their piece, including forgoing that classic white diamond! What better way to make a piece unique than to use your favorite color, or a specific stone that will always remind you of the person it’s from, or who it’s for? Or even a stone that holds a color that’s important to you?
Many people choose the rich blue of blue topaz to remind them of the Caribbean, or the softer pastel blue of larimar to remind them of the crystal waters of their favorite beach. Others think of emerald green to remind them of Ireland (“The Emerald Isle”). Or the deep yellow-orange of a Mexican fire opal may remind some of a Mexican resort or a desert or canyon vacation…
But color isn’t the only consideration. After all, “diamonds are forever!”
And as the saying suggests, diamonds are the hardest substance on Earth, and are rated 10 (the highest) on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Their durability is thematic (who doesn’t want a love that lasts forever?) but also practical (a ring you wear every day will get knocked around a bit, no matter how careful you try to be!).
Still not sold on diamonds? You might be delighted to hear that sapphires and rubies are the second-hardest gems at 9 on the hardness scale, and are usually less expensive than diamonds. Sapphires occur naturally in every color of the rainbow — except red! (Red sapphires are actually what we know as rubies…but that is a whole different story!) So from red to violet, and every color in between, your bridal pieces can still achieve gorgeous color and high brilliance, without sacrificing durability.
If you’re determined to use another stone, like opal, turquoise, amethyst, or any of the over 200 other gemstones available, be aware that softer stones may not have the longevity you’re hoping for. Stones that are lower on the hardness scale work well for other types of jewelry, but they require considerable care if being used in bridal jewelry. We definitely recommend giving us a call so we can discuss your options and see if the stone you’re hoping for is up to the task!
If you’d like to have the best of all worlds — color, durability and sparkle — remember that diamonds also come in every color! Fancy colored diamonds are diamonds that are far enough beyond the grading scale of “white” to be another color entirely, and they often rival other gemstones in saturation! While these types of diamonds do occur naturally, they are quite rare and come with a price tag to match.
On the other hand, enhanced or “color treated” diamonds also boast bold colors and offer a lower price point.
For more information on how diamond colors are graded, stop by our Four Cs of Choosing a Diamond guide.
In recent years, we’ve seen a big trend toward individuality, and color plays a large role in that! As fine jewelry designers, we’re excited to see couples move away from “cookie cutter” sets and opt to personalize their engagement rings and wedding bands with colors that are important to them.
For some couples, the traditional “white diamond engagement ring” is too important to give up. For others, a custom piece with a unique center stone represents a chance to bring their perfect dream design to life. Once a couple realizes that their ring doesn’t have to look the way they always imagined it would, the possibilities become endless!
Looking for inspiration? Our showcase has dozens of example bridal pieces we’ve created throughout the years!
Still have questions? Feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or stop by the showroom to speak with our gemstone experts! We’d be happy to help you explore your options and to fine-tune your custom design ideas!